Google launches guide for bringing technology into the classroom

google_apps_for_education_video_screenshotGoogle has released its guide to help schools integrate new technology into classrooms in an effort to boost engagement with Google Apps for Education and similar services. Many schools are bringing Google services and Chromebooks to the classroom, and Google wants to use them as an example for how other schools can enhance how they teach students with technology.
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Google Compare seeking to bring auto insurance comparisons to U.S.

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It goes without saying that Google has its hands in many different ventures, from Fiber to Android, but the Google search engine is still their crowning achievement. For some time now, Google has been quietly working on dedicated price comparison searches, falling under the service of Google Compare (formerly called Google Advisor).

Our friends across the pond have had Google Compare more front-and-center than those of us in the U.S. If you were to type www.google.com/compare/ in the U.S., you’re taken to a page that only offers credit card comparisons; however, if you type in www.google.co.uk/compare, you can see a much larger service being built. There are comparisons and quotes for travel insurance, mortgages, banking, and auto insurance.
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Google app broken in Spanish-speaking countries after yesterday’s update

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Yesterday, Google pushed an update to its Android app that would fix bugs and introduce Now Cards. Everything is seemingly working fine in the United States and much of Europe; however, users of the app in Spanish-speaking countries are reporting otherwise. The update effectively disables the cards found in Google Now for those users. It will not push new cards with personalized information and that renders it useless. The purpose of Google Now is to be a personalized hub of information for a user.

Are you experiencing any issues with Google Now? Let us know in the comments.

Via: XDA-Developers

Chrome OS to get a new file manager with Material Design

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The file manager in Chrome OS is functional, but it’s a little boring. The good news is that it’s going to get a little Material Design love pretty soon.

A number of screenshots are in Google’s official Material Design documentation shows the file manager with a new look. The images could be just examples or they could be for Google Drive, but we can only assume that Google make add some Material Design flare to the file manager since everything will get it eventually and a bug report reveals they are working on it. The new Files icon appears to be ready for Chrome version 42, so Material Design might show up alongside it.


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Google app getting a version 4.1 update with the addition of ‘Now Cards’ [APK Download]

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The Google app on Android is getting an update to version 4.1 which brings with it the usual suite of bug fixes and the addition of something known as ‘Now Cards‘. This essentially lets you control what cards appear on your Google Now page with the ability to check card history on the web, delete custom preferences or even turn them off.
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Android distribution numbers show KitKat growth, but not much for Lollipop

android distribution january 2015Google has updated their Android distribution numbers for January, and everything is about where we expect it to be. Ice Cream Sandwich saw a decline, although small, while KitKat increased its market share by about 5% to 39.1%. Most of that growth came at the expense of the much older Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread, as they both saw about a 1% decline each. Froyo is sitting at 0.4%, down from 0.5%, so it’s hanging on as hard as it can.

Interestingly, Lollipop hasn’t registered on these distribution numbers. Google always notes that they don’t display Android versions that account for less than 0.1% of the market, so if that’s the reasoning behind not displaying Lollipop, the adoption for Android 5.0 is not good.
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MediaTek’s MT5595 processor powers first Ultra HD TV with Android TV

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Bringing together an Ultra HD TV with Google’s Android TV platform is made possible due to a processor built by MediaTek. The Taiwanese company announced today that, in collaboration with Google, it can bring together advanced televisions with software the supplies improved functionality to the big screen. The MT5595 is a quad-core big.LITTLE SoC containing two Cortex-A17 and two Cortex-A7 processors. The content on an Ultra HD TV can run fine with the MT5595 because of the Google VP9 and HEVC support.

Android TV devices with the MediaTek MT5595 are scheduled to arrive this March.

Hit the break for the full press release. Click here for our full CES 2015 coverage.


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Google wants regulators to free up vacant spectrum to give consumers cheaper alternatives for wireless data

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Everyone is sick of the data caps that cell phone companies have imposed on us. It’s one thing to cap data, but it’s another to over charge for services rendered. I have been saying all long that Google will fix this mess and they are already making steps toward it.

They are lobbying with regulators to free up vacant spectrum that is not only low cost, but useless to the U.S. carriers. They would like to see as much as 150 megahertz of specturm around the 3.5 gigahertz band. The idea is to leave it open to anyone without a license, but set aside some of it for companies to use exclusively.


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YouTube set to support 360 degree video footage in the coming weeks

youtube-logo_9339Google has announced that they’re hard at work on letting you upload 360 degree video footage onto YouTube.  They didn’t specify exactly how the footage will work, but it’s supposedly set to debut on the video streaming service in the coming weeks.

Of course, if you want to upload any 360 degree video, you’re going to have to use a camera that actually supports it. Your smartphone or point-and-shoot isn’t going to get the job done. Viewing the videos also seems like it’ll be tricky, especially on something small like a smartphone screen, but Google might just implement an IMAX-esque panoramic view on widescreen monitors or tablets. There’s also a lot of potential with VR headsets like Google cardboard or Samsung’s Gear VR, but that might be putting the horse in front of the cart at this point.
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Google unveils “Cast for Audio”

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Google has today taken the wraps off its “Cast for Audio” streaming platform, which has been specifically configured to enable hardware partners to embed Chromecast compatibility into their speakers, soundbars, TV’s and set-top boxes. This provides users with the ability to use Android, iOS and desktop operating systems to stream music, podcasts and more.


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